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Dealing with Anti-Hunters


Dealing with Anti-Hunters


Most of the hunters in the south have never really had to deal with a true “anti-hunter”. We may have to deal with passive non-hunters, or the occasional verbal non-hunter but seldom are we faced with the obstinate anti-hunter.

Speaking from experience, it can be rather daunting to find your adventure afield suddenly and openly ruined by some passionate and ill-informed anti-hunter. This is the vocal, passionate person who is running on emotion rather than facts. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, but I did not handle the situation as well as I would have liked. Since this incident, I have prepared myself to be ready for a confrontation should it arise. Here are a few tips I have learned by talking with others who are more versed than I and based on my experience.

  1. Remain calm: Often this can be the best offense is to remain calm and not engage on the same level. In my situation, I was hunting geese on a public reservoir when a female approached and began screaming and flailing her arms in an attempt to scare off incoming geese. Needless to say it worked. She kept this up for almost an hour until we grew tired of her antics and packed up to leave. This is when she became hostile, and belligerent towards all of us. Never mind we were all carrying shotguns and were angry, she didn’t care. I learned that I can defuse someone else’s anger and hostility by remaining calm and not allowing them to get under my skin. Not easy, but effective.
  2. Speak clearly and in a matter of fact:  If you have a right to be there, state so, if you are abiding by the law, make that clear. You have a right to be there and participate in legal hunting activities without fear of aggravating interference. Make that known.
  3. Be prepared to call the Game warden or Sheriff: Many hunters feel that they can handle the situation without law enforcement. But the law officers are trained in how to calm angry people. There is nothing to be ashamed about calling law enforcement. Do so, be clear with them and if possible let them handle the situation.
  4. Never threaten or use your gun to threaten: as angry as the situation becomes, pointing a gun at another person escalates the situation to often unwanted consequences. Instead, unload your gun, show them it is unloaded and approach before beginning a conversation.
  5. Press Charges: I cannot count the number of times I have had Game officers and sheriff officers tell me that they will not pursue these or other crimes until the victim assures them they will press charges. It is a waste of their time to come out and talk to someone unless real change will occur. Be prepared to press charges and be clear of the situation.
  6. Dictate and record everything about the incident in detail. Too much information is better than not enough. Study the individual or individuals, look for things like hair color, height, unique marks like tattoos or scars. Clothing, car or truck, if possible take their picture with your phone – (This could cause a lot of tension so try and do this discretely)

Lastly, do everything you can not to put yourself in the situation in the first place. If you have heard of protestors, or of confrontations that have occurred in the past, hunt somewhere else. It just isn’t worth it.

Dealing with anti-hunters can be challenging and stressful, but as hunters we should not run for the situation, rather prepare ourselves for a situation that may never occur. But by being prepared, we can handle the situation as persons of integrity.